happy national poetry month, day two! if you're just tuning in: spiderweb salon is celebrating all month by sharing work by some of our favorite poets & writers. today we are honored to share This is not my first grey hair, a gorgeous ode to love, time, and self by Logen Cure from her chapbook Still (2015, Finishing Line Press), PLUS a hilariously challenging writing prompt for your next literary shenanigans...
This is not my first grey hair;
the first I plucked in a surge
of panic, leaned over the bathroom sink, alone,
nose-to-nose with my own horrified expression.
I spoke of it to no one.
This, my second grey hair, snapped to my attention,
a sudden silver glare.
Remember? We were both standing in front of the mirror
and I said Hey look and you stood
on tiptoe and found it with your fingers.
Do you want me to pull it out? you asked.
No, I said.
I’ll keep it.
We’d been married, what? Six months?
and working so much overtime made pulling
the silver hair seem futile.
And oh, how I hated
that shithole apartment—
the domestic disturbances of the neighbors,
the cracks in the windows,
the occasional foul smells.
Though I admit I liked that bathroom mirror,
simply because we could stand in front of it together,
and I found it easier to look at myself
when I could see you, too.
It made me consider that first place we shared,
also a shithole,
when you first moved in with me.
I remember the sweet shock
of you in my bed every morning,
you inhabiting the same spaces that previously
contained only my solitary silence,
the hours of my life I felt almost
had not existed
for lack of witnesses.
Last night you tilted my head toward the bright lights
in our new bathroom, in our new house,
and you searched the deep dark of my hair
for another strand of silver.
Surely that one isn’t alone, you said,
and I said, If it is,
it won’t be for long.
+ WRITING PROMPT! Gather your friends around for this one: Logen's prompt works best in a workshop or small group. The challenge is for each person in the group to write the worst poem possible. Think bad puns, cheesy rhymes, terrible cliches. See who can write most terrible poem in the group. Share your terrible poems and decide who is the absolute worst. Then think about ways you could actually turn those drafts into good poems. The point here is that every first draft is dreadful. Great poetry happens in revision. This exercise removes the pressure of trying to write something perfect by giving the space to purposely write something bad. Then revise toward whatever the most sensory and surprising moments are, replace cliches with specificity, etc. This is a lot of fun, even with just a few people.
Logen Cure is a poet and teacher. She is the author of three chapbooks: Still (where this poem originally appears), Letters to Petrarch, and In Keeping. Her work also appears in Word Riot, Radar Poetry, The Boiler, and elsewhere. She's an editor for Voicemail Poems. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Grand Prairie with her wife. Learn more at www.logencure.com.